Thursday, 9 September 2010

364 STEREOPHONICS, Asian Dub Foundation, WARM JETS, Theaudience, "NME Brats Bus Tour", Bristol University Anson Rooms, Saturday 24 January 1998

Kicked off a hectic week (and hopefully a hectic year!) of gigs by scooting off to Brizzle on a freezing night for the annual "NME Brats Bus" tour! Ady and I got there in time to see new band Theaudience, who were touted as Blondie revivalists, but who disappointed me with far too few pop gems and far too much gloomy pseudo Goth muso stuff, which wouldn't have been out of place in a Cranberries support (ugh!).

Luckily, Warm Jets were next up. Despite the absence of my favourite girly bassist, the statuesque Canadian Colleen Browne (apparently left "by mutual consent", according to an enlightening chat with the Warm Jets' guitar roadie) they were top band for me by some distance tonight. Now a little more in the limelight (thanks as much I guess to singer Louis Jones' current romance with DJ Zoe Ball, as with their splendidly crafted music), the Jets played with a more overt confidence than before, and their moody, atmospheric numbers took new flight. "Silver Surfer" was the highlight for me of their set, which I spent bopping in a growing moshpit at this sell-out gig!

Popped into the lobby for a breather with Ady during Asian Dub Foundation's set; they were exactly as you'd expect them to sound, i.e. Asian, dubby and therefore really not my cup of tea at all. The Stereophonics were, however, potential highlights, so Ady and I piled back in to join in the quite amazingly partisan welcome for this Welsh power trio. The crowd knew every word of every song and were quite fanatical in their reception for the boys (quite an influx from over the Severn Bridge, methinks!), who played a stonking and passionate set. Not always my cup of tea either (due to some unfortunate leanings towards brain-dead Oasis-like terrace rants/ chants), they were nevertheless great "live", and set closers "More Life In A Tramp's Vest" and my favourite, the thrilling, driving "Local Boy In The Photograph" rescued them from a set which started well and just sagged a little in the middle for me.

Well, the kids loved the Stereophonics, but as I'm a contrary bugger, the Warm Jets won the day for me!

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